BBC Music reveal the Sound of 2017 longlist with Anderson Paak, Jorja Smith and others

BBC’s longlist for the Sound of 2017 has been revealed and shows the domination of hip-hop in music with urban artists making up over half the list this year.

Using an eclectic panel of 170 DJs, critics and writers BBC Music have come up with their selection of the most promising up-and-comers for the year to come. Previous years’ winners have included Sam Smith, last year’s Jack Garrett and possibly their best prediction with Adele in 2008.

The selection for 2017 shows the rise of grime music in the UK with newcomers Ray Blk and Nadia Rose on the list. Elsewhere more rap and poetry acts show hip-hop’s current popularity with London wordsmith AJ Tracey up for nomination and alternative rapper Dave. One of the most notable acts on the list is US producer, musician, rapper and singer Anderson .Paak who has found rising success after featuring all over Dr. Dre’s comeback album last year and releasing his acclaimed debut Malibu at the start of this year.

BBC Music Sound of 2017 longlist

AJ Tracey – West London wordsmith

Anderson .Paak – Dr. Dre endorsed rap prodigy

Cabbage – Post-punk provocateurs

Dave – Plaintive rapper with classical training

Declan McKenna – Polemic singer-songwriter

Jorja Smith – Heart-rending soul singer

Maggie Rogers – Graceful songwriter who stunned Pharrell

Nadia Rose – With wordplay and colourful beats

Rag N Bone Man Gravel-voiced soul revelation

Ray BLK – Street smart R&B

Raye – Electro beats with soaring pop melodies

Stefflon Don – Wicked, dancehall-inspired wordplay

The Amazons – Raucous rock revivalists

The Japanese House – Enigmatic pop maven

Tom Grennan – Gruff, soulful singer-songwriter

The list is also notable for the resurgence in political songs with acts like Declan McKenna and Cabbage coming out with songs criticising right-wing media and controversial leaders like Kim Jong Un and new US President-elect Donald Trump.

You can read more on the acts and previous BBC Sound of the Year winners from the BBC’s news report on the Sound of 2017.

How to make a song using a Greyhound bus as an instrument

Making a song with one instrument sounds like a tough undertaking but what if your sole source of instrumentals was one, giant Greyhound bus?

Prolific YouTuber and musician Andrew Huang set out to find out just that and with some incredible results. Huang, famous for his unique experimentation with music and “alternative” instruments, was the challenge by Greyhound to create an entire song using only one of their buses for sound.

From creating a clap sound by buckling the seatbelt to making a hi-hat noise by rubbing on the fabric of the chairs, Huang created a full song just by experimenting with the possible noises made on a bus. Not only is it an impressive task but, thanks to Huang’s talented musicianship, it also resulted in a wicked and totally unique sounding track – Give it a listen!

As with many of Huang’s videos it shows the massive capabilities of making music by being creative with natural sounds. You don’t always need a full band behind you or a MIDI keyboard full of synths to create a dope track, and by being creative with samples you can truly create something that sounds like nothing ever created before.

Check out the making of the track below:

Hopefully this challenge can inspire you to get out and record some sounds from unexpected places to inspire you in all new ways.

Check out Andrew Huang’s YouTube channel for regular videos on creating music in new and profound ways as well as taking a look at some of the most innovative new music instruments and tech coming out.

Clubbing in the UK might not be dead yet; Fabric is saved!

Following it’s closure earlier this year clubbers, artists, musos, and many others banded together to save London’s now infamous Fabric nightclub.

Back in September Fabric had it’s club license revoked after two drug-related deaths caused concerns over the safety of the club. The club’s closure resonated with clubbers and music lovers across the world who banded together to save one of the UK’s most iconic night spots.

World famous DJs and even the new mayor of London Sadiq Khan showed support in reopening Fabric. Supporters managed to raise a massive £325,000 towards the legal costs of fighting the club’s closure which paid off as a compromise was found for it’s reopening by District Judge Robin McPhee. The reopening will entail some strict licensing conditions but nothing strict enough to undercut the success of the club and it’s support in fighting it’s closure.

Judge McPhee told the court: “I’m satisfied that the council and Fabric pulled together to get a set of workable conditions to prevent drug use and supply.” The regulations for the club will include a new 19+ age limit as well as ID scanners at the club’s entry in the 155 page document detailing their new conditions.

In a public statement on Facebook, Fabric wrote:

We are hugely thankful to be able to confirm the news that we have won our licence back. We owe everything to our supporters. We really would not be here today without your unparalleled support and generosity. So many different people stepped up to put their voices to our cause, artists from all corners of the music community, fellow promoters who have put on huge events from us and clubbers from around the world who all united behind us. We’ve even seen people sporting their #savefabric T Shirts on the other side of this planet showing just how big this thing is.

So, thank you to all of you. Without the strength of your backing this would not have happened.

You saved fabric.

We’ll be back with some news about #saveourculture and our next steps when we can.

As Fabric raised so much money in support of their cause they say that will be pledging all leftover cash to “other worthy causes within the industry”. As nightclubs around the world, particularly in the UK, are constantly facing dangers of closure or business-killing restrictions there will likely be plenty of other venues in need of support to keep nightlifes alive.

Lono Bristol – Artist of the Week November 9th

Lono Bristol is this weeks RouteNote artist of the week for his great trap songs full of masterful production and smooth, lush vocals reminiscent of Drake.

Lono Bristol caught our eye when he began using RouteNote with his music that blends the best elements of R&B and trap for songs full of soul that you can lean back and vibe to.

We were particularly impressed with Lono Bristol’s music video for his new track Used To Do which tells a beautifully shot story of drug addiction, love, heartbreak and police brutality. Watch his amazing video below:


Lono Bristol

SoundCloud – soundcloud.com/lonobrist0l

YouTube –  youtube.com/user/MrBrist0l

Twitter – twitter.com/lonobristol

Is it a synth? Is it a bike? No, it’s… a synth bike

From the bizarrely brilliant people of YouTube channel LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER comes a brand new kind of synth, a synthesiser built into a bike.

The incredible mobile instrument was built from an old 1973 Raleigh Chopper. The creative minds running the LOOK MUM NO COMPUTER YouTube channel, also responsible for a dartboard synth and tinfoil drum triggers, transformed the old bike into a fully functional, ridable synthesiser.

The transformed bike features a drum machine, sampler, and analog synth built into the front of the bike. The tempo can be tuned manually or set to the bike’s front wheel so that you can control the speed of the beats with your pedalling.

Unfortunately the synth bike is one of a kind, because I would instantly buy it if it were for sale. But you can watch it in action around London in the video above and head to their YouTube channel for plenty more amazing and weird musical experiments.